Quandary: Lost and found on Summit County’s trails | SummitDaily.com

Quandary: Lost and found on Summit County’s trails

A lost teddy bear sits on a boulder at the Willow Preserve in Frisco.
Ann Newman / Special to the Daily


Quandary, the old and wise mountain goat, has been around Summit County for ages, and has the answers to all questions about life, love and laws in the High Country. Have a question for Quandary? Email your queries about Summit and the High Country to Quandary@summitdaily.com.

Hi Quandary,

We have been noticing a teddy bear left on a boulder at the Willow Preserve area off of Meadow Creek Drive. The poor thing was left for about a week and a half, then disappeared. We wondered if there was any story behind this? Appreciate any insight.



You just left that poor little bear abandoned and alone for a week and a half? Wow Ann, that seems harsh. Kidding of course, that’s exactly what you should do to an extent. Oftentimes when people find lost items in the local parks, open spaces or on the trails, they’ll move the items to a more visible spot for a would-be reunion. This is why you’ll occasionally see mittens waiving at you from atop posts or bike signs sporting hats. A week and a half seems a little overly optimistic though. At a certain point, lost treasures turn into smelly trash and need to be dealt with. I’m not saying this little bear found his way into a bear-proof receptacle, but eventually, that’s the only humane thing to do. Nobody wants mildewed fur, you know?

Perhaps though, once upon a time, a little bear and his best buddy — we’ll call her Sally — went for a nice walk in the Willow Preserve. Sally was skipping through the wildflowers, maintaining excellent trail sustainability practices, when a little bunny hopped across the trail in front of her. Sally was so excited she jumped for joy and accidentally dropped her favorite furry friend. The mock apex predator laid on the ground waiting for his faithful companion to return, but Sally’s parents had already put her in the back of the minivan with her iPad and headphones to keep her calm. One hour and one long drive from Summit, Sally realized her terrible error: She had left Mr. Bear behind. Distraught and with no time to return, Sally’s parents tried to comfort her with all of her other toys sitting at home.

On the trail, a nice couple with eagle eyes spotted the misfortunate mongrel and took Mr. Bear with them on their stroll, returning him to the trailhead. Two weeks later, when Sally’s family returned to the scene of the incident, the plucky little girl and soggy stuffed animal were once again reunited, and they all lived happily ever after.

It sure sounds good, but alas, happy endings are often hard to come by. If you do find something while meandering through the wilderness, many trailheads in Summit have lost and found boxes to help the missing and the missers make amends. More valuable items — jewlery, wallets, small children — can all be turned in to local authorities at police stations throughout Summit. If you find something that looks potentially hazardous — firearms, Samurai sword — do not handle the object and instead contact authorities immediately. If you happen to lose something, commence lost item protocol: Check your hands and pockets first to make sure your mind isn’t slipping, retrace your steps, reach out to the community through classifieds or Facebook and rail against the gods. If none of that works, try contacting the police department closest to where you lost your items to see if anything was turned in. However, do not reach out through emergency dispatch or 911. No one is going to send out a search and rescue call simply because your favorite fishing pole never made it back from the lake.

As for Mr. Bear, his true fate is still unknown. If you happen to know more about the little guy’s family or journey, feel free to reach out to quandary@summitdaily.com.

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